| Salida By Air, Shavano By Foot
Mt. Shavano, near Salida, is known for the "Angel of Shavano" snowfield. During the spring snowmelt, the last of the mountainside snow to melt is in the shape of an angel.
Flying to Salida from Texas, my first Colorado waypoint is Walsenburg. The Spanish Peaks near Walsenburg:
At Walsenburg it's decison time. Continue northwest toward Westcliffe, or turn west over La Veta Pass, then north up the San Luis Valley? I opted for the La Veta Pass route, as it had fewer clouds.
The Blanca group after flying over La Veta Pass:
The Great Sand Dunes, after turning north near Alamosa:
My hiking destination, Mt. Shavano, from the Salida airport. Hopefully there will be fewer clouds during my hike:
On climbing day I hit the trail around daybreak. The trail is obvious until you get near the stream crossing. Then, according to the route description on the 14ers.com website, the trail "can be hard to follow". I thought that "bewildering" might be a more apt description. Some more cairns would be helpful.
After breaking past treeline, I looked back and had this view of Salida:
As I approached the saddle, although by August the snow had melted, I could make out a faint outline of the famous Angel of Shavano:
A view of the summit from the saddle:
A closer view of the summit. Be warned, there are several false summits as you make your final ascent:
At last, the final, yes final, summit pitch:
And a couple of views from the summit:
On my descent, I noticed that it was raining near Salida, and wondered whether my airplane was getting a free wash job:
For my return flight home I opted for the Westcliffe route. Here's a shot of the Crestones from over Westcliffe:
And, over Walsenburg, a final shot of the Spanish Peaks, this time sans clouds:
All in all, an excellent adventure.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):